James Kenealey covid-19
Morson's Health, Wellbeing and Engagement Partner Heather Deering gives her tips and advice on maintaining good physical and emotional wellbeing during the second UK-wide lockdown of the year.
For the majority of the first lockdown, we were blessed with unseasonably warm weather and blue skies, followed by a summer that while still far from ordinary, allowed more freedoms for us to enjoy. As we make our way through the second peak of the coronavirus, the thought of adding lockdown restrictions to the earlier sunsets and colder weather that winter brings may prove daunting. Here are some simple steps you can follow to help protect your wellbeing as we enter lockdown 2.0.
Keep your routine
With darker mornings, it might be tempting to stay in bed longer, but keeping to your regular routine will help to instil a sense of normality. Try to keep to your usual sleep and wake times, eat your meals according to your normal pattern, ensure you’re taking regular breaks, and – most importantly – set aside some time for you.
On these colder days, especially if you’re working from home, getting outside to get some fresh air can end up bottom of the to-do list. But making time for staying active should be a priority – even if it’s just a walk around the block. Try scheduling active time in your diary. It’s harder to forget (or ignore!) your commitment to getting some exercise if it’s popping up on a calendar reminder. Getting out in fresh air and natural light has other benefits too, helping maintain our natural circadian rhythms, keeping us energised, and supporting our mental health.
If the weather really is too bleak to go outside you could try an online class. There are so many different exercise and activity classes available for free on YouTube and social media. Our inhouse trainers Barrie and Maria have a back catalogue of classes available on their channels too.
Evidence shows that those of us with strong social support networks are able to cope better with stressful situations. Whether it's with friends, family, or colleagues – make use of phone calls, video chats, texting, and social media to stay connected with people that you can’t see face-to-face. Make an effort to reach out to people who may be struggling or don’t have a strong support network. Practising kindness is good for our mental health, especially during hard times.
Focus on the positives
It’s easy to view the changing of the seasons in a negative way, but there are many small joys to be found in winter – whether it’s the opportunity to recharge your batteries by staying in and getting cosy, getting wrapped up and going on winter walks, or indulging in seasonal comfort food.
We’ve been through this before and come out on the other side, this time is no different. We’re equipped with the valuable lessons we learned during the first lockdown, and on a larger scale, as a society, we have a much better knowledge of the virus and how it can be avoided and treated. If you find yourself struggling, think back to the first lockdown, what you found to be helpful then and how you can apply that to the current situation.